Wednesday, September 26, 2018

It's Apple Picking Time!


It’s Apple Picking Time!

When my parents, younger sister, and I moved from Rapid City, South Dakota, to Spokane Valley in the summer of 1969, just before my senior year at West Valley High School, we thought we had won the jackpot! Not only were we anticipating milder winters compared to the Midwest, we thought we had found paradise!  We discovered GreenBluff!  

Living in the Midwest we were used to eating shipped-in fruit—mealy apples for one and limited types of fruit, it was amazing for us to just go up the road and pick our own fruit—apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, cherries!  The flavors were amazing, fresh, juicy!  What could be better!!  We were sure to get up to Green Bluff for all the fruit offerings so we could enjoy that wonderful fruit! 

Then life got busy with college, working part time and then a full-time job, and I no longer joined in with the picking, but I certainly enjoyed the eating!  For years my mom canned peaches, pears, cherries so we could have that fresh fruit taste all year long. 
I’m sure you all know about Green Bluff and have probably been up there to pick or purchase already picked fruits and vegetables.  Green Bluff Growers’ Association began in 1902.  I didn’t know that originally the Association was started to protect local strawberry growers from outside competition. 

Green Bluff growers produce all kinds of vegetables and fruits that you can either pick yourself or purchase already picked.  There are a number of annual events that the public can participate in—Cherry Pickers Trot, Apple Festival, Mother’s Day—Blooms on the Bluff, Holiday Memories, Peach Season, Strawberry Season.

When I retired July 2014, I was just in time for Peach Season in August.   I bought 25 pounds of peaches, enjoyed eating them and made several peach pies for the freezer.  That was the best!

I usually go to Green Bluff the first week of October to get a small selection of apples.  My husband doesn’t eat fruit, so I try not to buy too much!

Green Bluff is about 15 minutes north of Spokane in the foothills of Mt Spokane.  You can drive the two loops—East and West.  In Green Bluff, you can also find wine, meade wine, lavender, antiques, U-Cut Christmas Trees.  Each producer is individually owned and operated.

Source:  Green Bluff Grower’s Association

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Who Was Spokane's Founding Father?


Who Was Spokane’s Founding Father?

The city of Spokan (The “e” will be added in 1883.) Falls, Washington, was incorporated on November 29, 1881.  Spokan Falls’ population was 350 residents and covered a 1.56 square mile area.  The Mayor was R.W. Forrest, and a seven-member city council worked with no pay. 

Prior to this time, Spokan Falls was a small settlement…lets go back 10 years earlier.

1871 saw James J Downing and Seth R Scranton settling their families on 160 acres on the banks of the Spokane River near the falls.   Their settlement was called Spokan Falls, and by year's end, their settlement included a sawmill owned by Downing, a post office, and a general store.    

1873 saw James Nettleton Glover, later known as the “Father of Spokane”, arriving in Spokan Falls from Oregon.  Along with Glover came his partner Jasper N Matheney.  They were seeking land and to possibly build a town.  They were impressed with the beauty of the land Downing and Scranton had purchased near the falls and the potential for such property.  Glover and Matheney didn’t reveal their intentions to Downing and Scranton; however,  they succeeded in purchasing Downing’s sawmill and his land. 

Glover ultimately purchased Scranton’s land, bought out his partner, Matheney, and persuaded Frederick Post to build a gristmill—a mill for grinding grain--at the falls.  Post was in the process of building a lumber mill farther up the river before Glover approached him about the gristmill. 

Glover expanded the sawmill and built a general store where the first post office, bank, city hall, court room, and theater were housed.  The Glover and Gilliam Livery Stable was built across the street, and Glover’s residence was on the opposite corner. 

 1878 saw Glover completing Spokan’s first survey.  Glover laid out the streets, developed the main intersections, and named the streets.  Glover planned for the streets to be 60 feet wide; he said if the streets were narrower than 60 feet he would not donate his land.  This area is now Spokane Falls Boulevard.

Glover was a politician, a banker, a founder, and Spokan’s second Mayor—elected in 1883 and serving until the 1895 election.  It is said that Glover did give away chunks of the 160 acres to anyone who promised to build a business in the settlement.  He strongly promoted the growth of Spokan’s economy.

The 1893 bank Panic hit Glover very hard; he was the leading banker in Spokane at that time.  Glover moved to a more modest home in 1909, where he resided until his death in 1921.

Sources:  Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, Spokane Historical, An Illustrated History of Spokane County, State of Washington by Johnathan Edwards